Our Approach and History

For over 30 years we've been working at the radical edge of relationship, change and social action. As a learning organisation we bring our energy to work collaboratively with clients. We are compassionate, fierce, unconventional and rigorous in our approach.

We are global pioneers of Whole Person Learning, a highly effective and challenging approach that emphasises the interconnectedness of all of us at all levels. We work with people, their relationships and the systems which contain them.

This effective human relations practice creates more peer-based, leaderful, networked, responsible, empowered and engaged organisations for the future.

We take a co-creative approach, starting with your questions to create bespoke responses tailored to where you are now and where you hope to be. We work with issues in a live way, as they emerge. Whilst we have an opinion and three decades of experience, we’re just as interested in the meaning you have about how you see the world. We will listen at a deep level to get under your skin and fully grasp your unique phase, questions and characteristics.

In this way, we help you to navigate your way to powerful relationships, sustainable action and social change.

Whole Person Learning is a radical approach developed by Oasis, and supported by global partners. Through Whole Person Learning, we enable people to bring more of themselves to their lives, work and communities.

Most approaches to learning rely on the cognitive acquisition of knowledge. They do not take account of experiential, practical, affective and imaginal ways of learning. Whole Person Learning recognises that human beings exist in a network of relationships and interdependent systems. It allows people to learn from first-hand experience, to understand the consequences of their decisions and to learn how to know themselves.

This enhances personal responsibility and authority and gives access to authentic personal power, challenging traditional perspectives of authority, power, control and gender. Everyone is seen as equal, embracing diversity and inclusion. This greater autonomy translates into a richer contribution to work, relationships, community and the planet.

Our methodology is rigorous, grounded in extensive, ongoing action research, and applicable to all life-work contexts. As a signatory of the  UN Global Compact we are committed to working openly, accountably and transparently.

Whole Person Learning manual

Oasis is an unfolding 30-year experiment in the practice of freedom and responsibility. The experiment began in the mid-80s when Bryce Taylor and Nick Ellerby set out to create an enterprise designed and run collaboratively as peers.

From the start those involved endeavoured to create a human relations organisation that reflects the values of openness and shared accountability out of which we work, and which gives expression to the kind of relationships to which we aspire in our work together.

Seeking the radical, exploring the threshold and working beyond convention have always been the impulse for those who work with and within Oasis School of Human Relations.

Work has included development programmes, training, consultancy, employee counselling services, organisational development and one-to-one executive development, across sectors including education, health and social care, housing, business, local government and charities.

Based at Beechwood Conference Centre, Leeds, from 1989, in the early 1990s Oasis moved to Hall Mews, Boston Spa. In the early 2000s Oasis was registered as a not-for-profit organisation. As a not-for-profit organisation, we understand the importance of helping others which is why we offer other charities and non-profit companies free training to help maximise their staff’s potential.

Fundamental in shaping the Oasis approach have been:

  • Mario van Boeschoten, our organisational guide and mentor
  • Bryce Taylor, a radical educator, author, leading edge thinker and practitioner in the human development movement, and co-founder of Oasis
  • John Heron, who set up the Human Potential Research Project at the University of Surrey and was instrumental in founding the Institute for the Development of Human Potential
  • Will Schutz, whose instrument FIRO-B is the most widely-used psychometric tool after the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and
  • Eric Cassirer, a creative and inspirational figure who was involved in the earliest days of the Human Potential movement.